2018 News

February 18, 2018


Nonkono Yume Scores Powerfully in February Stakes
February Stakes (G1)

February Stakes (G1)

Fourth favorite Nonkono Yume captured this year’s February Stakes, one of the two major dirt races on the calendar with G1 status, after displaying an impressive stretch run to defeat the defending champion Gold Dream in second. It is the six-year-old gelding’s second title at the highest level since his Japan Dirt Derby victory in 2015. In the same year at the age of three, the dark chestnut also notched two G3 wins and showed a runner-up effort in the Champions Cup before landing another two runner-up finishes the following year in the February Stakes and the Teio Sho. His best finish was a fourth after being gelded in the summer of his four-year-old season, but finally found his form in his latest start, the Negishi Stakes three weeks earlier, where he tenaciously dug in to claim the win. For trainer Yukihiro Kato, who has 12 JRA graded wins since opening his stables in 2002, this is his first JRA-G1 win while he already obtains the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup title with Shadow Gate in 2007. Jockey Hiroyuki Uchida has now claimed his 12th JRA G1 victory—his latest with Verxina in the 2014 Victoria Mile—and his second February Stakes triumph since the 2009 version with Success Brocken.

Breaking from stall 12, Nonkono Yume was settled in the far rear as the field of 16 cruised down the backstretch with Nishiken Mononofu setting the early pace up front. After taking a wide route on the heels of Gold Dream rounding the last two corners and still near the rear when entering the straight, the son of Twining had no trouble to find his best stride as he blew past his rivals while producing the fastest last three-furlong speed, eventually pinning Incantation and a stubborn Gold Dream in the last 100 meters to clear the wire first for the title.

“The staff tuned him up beautifully and he was in very good form. I kept him wide and in good striking position so that he could unleash his good late charge at any point, which is probably the reason why we were able to win today,” commented Hiroyuki Uchida after the race.

After breaking from a wide stall, race favorite Gold Dream was off slow sitting third to fourth from the rear and lost ground on both turns but displayed his trade-mark turn of foot down the lane under good urging from Ryan Moore. Although the five-year-old fought back persistently against the fast closing winner, he was eventually caught and finished a neck behind in second.

Multiple grade-race winner and sixth pick Incantation traveled in sixth to seventh in mid-pack before hitting the top of the lane right beside Gold Dream. The eight-year-old bay charged strongly down the straight but failed to overtake the defending champion and was furthermore nailed by the winner in the last half-furlong to finish third.

Other Horses:
4th: (16) Sunrise Nova―ran in 9th, quickened in last 300m but finished 3 lengths behind top 3 finishers
5th: (13) Let’s Go Donki―settled around 13th, switched to inside for clear path, showed effort until 100m out
6th: (9) King’s Guard―trailed in rear, switched to outside at mid-stretch and showed good response
7th: (8) Meisho Sumitomo―sat around 11th, switched to inside and improved position
8th: (5) Sound True―raced 2nd from rear, lacked needed kick, unable to reach contention
9th: (4) Awardee―took economic trip around 10th, met traffic 300m out, passed tired rivals
10th: (15) Best Warrior―traveled in 6th, struggled to find clear path at early stretch, never a threat
11th: (2) K T Brave―pressed pace in 2nd, led at top of stretch, weakened in last 300m
12th: (10) T M Jinsoku―stalked leaders in 3rd, outrun by rivals in last 300m
13th: (3) Nobo Baccara―chased leaders in 4th, sustained bid until 400m out, faded
14th: (11) London Town―positioned around 7th along rails, never fired at stretch
15th: (7) Lalabel―hugged rails in 5th, gradually fell back in last 400m
16th: (1) Nishiken Mononofu―set pace, ran out of steam at 300m out

4-year-old & up, 1,600 meters (about 8 furlongs), dirt, left-handed
Sunday, February 18, 2018     Tokyo Racecourse      11th Race        Post time: 15:40
Total prize money: ¥ 216,000,000 (about US$ 1,964,000 <US$1=¥110>)
4-y-o & up: 57kg (about 126 lbs), 2kg allowance for Fillies & Mares,
1kg allowance for Southern Hemisphere-bred born in 2014
Safety factor: 16 runners

FP BK PP Horse Sex
1 6 12 Nonkono Yume
G6 57.0 Twining
H. Uchida
Y. Kato
Kazumasa Yamada
Shadai Farm
2 7 14 Gold Dream
H5 57.0 Gold Allure
Mon Vert
R. Moore
O. Hirata
Katsumi Yoshida
Northern Farm
3 3 6 Incantation
H8 57.0 Sinister Minister
Original Spin
K. Miura
T. Hatsuki
Turf Sport
Tanikawa Stud
4 8 16 Sunrise Nova
C4 57.0 Gold Allure
Bright Sapphire
K. Tosaki
H. Otonashi
Takao Matsuoka
Yanagawa Bokujo
5 7 13 Let’s Go Donki
M6 55.0 King Kamehameha
H. Miyuki
T. Umeda
Hirosaki Toshihiro HD Co., Ltd.
Shimizu Bokujo
6 5 9 King’s Guard
H7 57.0 Sinister Minister
Kings Berry
Y. Fujioka
R. Terashima
Nisshin B.
Nisshin Farm
7 4 8 Meisho Sumitomo
H7 57.0 Gold Allure
H. Tanabe
K. Minai
Yoshio Matsumoto
Fujiwara Farm
8 3 5 Sound True
G8 57.0 French Deputy
Kyoei Truth
F. Minarik
N. Takagi
Hiroshi Yamada
Okada Stud
9 2 4
H8 57.0 Jungle Pocket
Heavenly Romance
Y. Take
M. Matsunaga
Koji Maeda
North Hills Management
10 8 15 Best Warrior
H8 57.0 Majestic Warrior
Flirtatious Miss
C. Lemaire
S. Ishizaka
Yukio Baba
Buck Pond Farm Inc
11 1 2 K T Brave
H5 57.0 Admire Max
K T Laurel
Y. Fukunaga
T. Meno
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
Kazuyoshi Takimoto
12 5 10 T M Jinsoku
H6 57.0 Kurofune
My Discovery
Y. Furukawa
K. Kihara
Masatsugu Takezono
Masatsugu Takezono
13 2 3 Nobo Baccara
H6 57.0 Admire Aura
Nobo Kiss
S. Ishibashi
S. Temma
LS. M Co., Ltd.
LS. M Co., Ltd.
14 6 11 London Town
H5 57.0 Kane Hekili
Fairy Banyan
Y. Iwata
K. Makita
Toru Makiura
Yasushi Tsumura
15 4 7 Lalabel
M6 55.0 Gold Allure
Breezy Woods
D. Mashima
K. Arayama
Teruya Yoshida
Shadai Farm
16 1 1 Nishiken Mononofu
H7 57.0 Meisho Bowler
Green Hill Komachi
N. Yokoyama
Y. Shono
Tsuru Nishimori
Tsuneo Yagi

FP=Final Position / BK=Bracket Number / PP=Post Position / B=Blinker / Wgt=Weight / L3F=Time of Last 3 Furlongs (600m)

Note1: No Foreign Contenders
Note2: Figures quoted under Odds are Win Odds, which show the amount of money you get back per single unit (100yen), and Fav indicates the order of favorites.

WINNING TIME: 1:36.0 GOING: Standard WEATHER: Fine
TURNOVER FOR THE DAY: ¥ 21,877,355,100 ATTENDANCE: 50,194

PAY-OFF (for ¥100)
WIN No.12 ¥1,070 BRACKET QUINELLA 6-7 ¥870 QUINELLA 12-14 ¥1,140
PLACE No.12 ¥280 QUINELLA PLACE 12-14 ¥520 EXACTA 12-14 ¥3,530
No.14 ¥130 6-12 ¥2,620 TRIO 6-12-14 ¥6,540
No.6 ¥350 6-14 ¥720 TRIFECTA 12-14-6 ¥41,560

  1. 1.Nonkono Yume (JPN), dark chestnut, gelding, 6-year-old
    Twining / Nonko (Agnes Tachyon)
    Owner: Kazumasa Yamada Breeder: Shadai Farm
    Trainer: Yukihiro Kato Jockey: Hiroyuki Uchida
    21 Starts, 8 Wins  
    Added money: ¥103,402,000 Career earnings: ¥425,611,000
    Principal Race Performances: ’15 Japan Dirt Derby (dirt, 2,000m) 1st
    ’18 Negishi Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,400m) 1st
    ’15 Musashino Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) 1st
    ’15 Unicorn Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,600m) 1st

  2. 2.Gold Dream (JPN), bay, horse, 5-year-old
    Gold Allure / Mon Vert (French Deputy)
    Owner: Katsumi Yoshida Breeder: Northern Farm
    Trainer: Osamu Hirata Jockey: Ryan Moore

  3. 3.Incantation (JPN), bay, horse, 8-year-old
    Sinister Minister / Original Spin (Machiavellian)
    Owner: Turf Sport Breeder: Tanikawa Stud
    Trainer: Tomohiko Hatsuki Jockey: Kosei Miura
Fractional Time (sec./furlong): 12.2 - 10.7 - 11.2 - 11.7 - 12.5 - 12.6 - 12.3 - 12.8
Last 4 furlongs: 50.2   Last 3 furlongs: 37.7

Positions at each corner: 3rd corner (*1,2)10-3-7-15(11,6)16(4,8,13,14)12(5,9)
4th corner (*1,2)10,3-7(15,6)(11,16,14)(8,13)(4,5,9,12)

Note1: Underlined bold number indicates the winning horse.
Note2: Horse numbers are indicated in the order of their positions at each corner, with the first position listed first. Two or more horses inside the same parentheses indicate that they were positioned side by side. Hyphens between the horse numbers indicate that there is distance between the former and the latter. The asterisk indicates a slight lead.

* February Stakes (G1)
Japanese horse racing, which is influenced by British racing, is held mainly on turf. However, dirt tracks that were popular in the U.S., quickly became widely used around the country since the Tokyo Racecourse implemented a new dirt track in 1960. While the mainstream of major JRA races remained over turf, the February Stakes (then called February Handicap), which was established in 1984 in conjunction with the new grading system, was one of just three graded dirt races at the time—the current number of graded dirt events is 15. The race was upgraded to G2 in 1994 and then to G1 in 1997, and stood as the highest-prized event until the Japan Cup Dirt (called the Champions Cup from 2014) took over in 2000.
Past winners include Wing Arrow (JPN, by Assatis; ’00), Agnes Digital (USA, by Crafty Prospector; ’02), Gold Allure (JPN, by Sunday Silence; ’03), Admire Don (JPN, by Timber Country; ’04), Kane Hekili (JPN, by Fuji Kiseki; ’06), Vermilion (JPN, by El Condor Pasa; ’08), Espoir City (JPN, by Gold Allure; ’10), Transcend (JPN, by Wild Rush; ’11), Copano Rickey (JPN, by Gold Allure; ’14&’15) and Gold Dream (’17)—all ten are winners of multiple-G1 races as well as JRA Award winners.
Defending champion and 2017 Best Dirt Horse Gold Dream was at the starting gate for the first time since his Champions Cup (G1, dirt, 1,800m; Dec.3) triumph last season. T M Jinsoku, runner-up in the same Champions cup, came off a Tokai Stakes (G2, dirt, 1,800m; Jan.21) win while Nonkono Yume also came off his first win in 26 months in the Negishi Stakes (G3, dirt, 1,400m; Jan.28) where he outdueled Sunrise Nova by a nose margin in record-breaking speed. Four runners came off the Kawasaki Kinen (dirt, 2,100m) held on January 31; K T Brave landed his second win at the highest level; multiple graded winner Awardee finished third; 2016 Best Dirt Horse Sound True and Meisho Sumitomo was fifth and seventh, respectively. Other key contenders included two February Stakes second-place finishers, Best Warrior (2017) and Incantation (2015), and 2015 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas, G1, 1,600m) champion Let’s Go Donki who was in her second attempt over the dirt surface since showing a runner-up effort in the 2016 JBC Ladies’ Classic (dirt, 1,600m), along with 2017 JBC Sprint (dirt, 1,200m) champion Nishiken Mononofu.
Moanin (USA, H6, by Henny Hughes) renewed the February Stakes record to 1:34.0 in 2016.

February Stakes (G1) related contents
Breeders' Cup Challenge Race